We had the good fortune of connecting with Zoë Lefèvere and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zoë, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is, let’sface it: risky. But I’m more like a ‘better regret the things you’ve donerather than the things you haven’t done’-kinda girl. Recently I took a very big risk, but it changed my life for the better.

I have Crohn’s disease. I was diagnosed back in 2015 and I was on medication ever since. In the summer of 2021, I became resistant to the medication which had always worked perfectly well for me. Because I was planning to go abroad for a couple of months, I had been looking at other medication for several months because I wanted to be more free. The IV-medication required me to go to the hospital every 8 weeks and that would have complicated my plans for going abroad.

I had found a solution in other medications, which I could easily bring with me. After running some tests and some talks with my specialist, she told me I would qualify for the medication BUT that she also would like to offer me the option of surgery. It came as a shock to me. A surgery is something big. They would remove a big part of my big intestine and I would need to recover.

I didn’t know what to do. I talked to so many people, friends, medical examiners, specialists, etc. They all told me: you need to do what’s best for you. But how would I know what’s best for me? I wanted to go abroad, but I also didn’t want to gamble with my health.

After my final talk with my gastroenterologist, she finally said to me: ‘The fastest and also safest option for you would be surgery. Of course you could change medication, but chances of them working would probably be lower than 40%. If they fail, you could try others but their chances would be the same.’

I cried, I was mad, I was confused and I couldn’t make up my mind. My Crohn’s were at their worst since the diagnosis and all I wanted was just to make the right decision. After a few days I made the final decision and I told my doctor I would go with the surgery.

It happened October 14th. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days and recovered for four weeks. It has been the best decision I ever made. My Crohns’ in remission, I’m feeling more energetic and I can do what I wanted: go abroad and live freely.

It was a big risk. Cause a lot could have gone wrong, during surgery or even after. But it was a risk I was willing to take. I did and it turned out for the better.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Because of my disease, I learnt a thing or two about perseverance. It really helps me during my career. I have big dreams and I want to achieve every single one of them. I’m very ambitious but I do believe that if you really want something, you can accomplish that. Don’t let anything stand in your way.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely my family and my boyfriend. They have been there throughout the whole journey and supported every choice I made. I could not have done it without them. I would talk about this forever and they would listen every single time.

Website: www.crohngetuige.com

Instagram: zoelefevere

Twitter: zoelefevere

Facebook: CrohngetuigeNL

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